Police are hunting for two men who viciously attacked a woman, leaving her unconscious as she went to get takeaways in a central Auckland suburb last night.

The badly injured 55-year-old woman was preparing to get into her car in Pt Chevalier when she noticed two men trying to break into her neighbour's car.

When she challenged them she became the target of a brutal beating, punched and kicked until she lost consciousness.

Her daughter, in her 20s, tried to desperately to intervene but was also assaulted.

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Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Baldwin said: "She was forced to the ground and has sustained some abrasions and bruising to her legs and lower body.''

The men stole the woman's keys and took off in her blue Volkswagen Polo hatchback. It was found in the neighbouring suburb of Mt Albert this morning.

Baldwin said the dinner-time attack said it was completely unprovoked and incredibly traumatic for the family.

"This was a completely unprovoked attack on innocent members of the public. Both victims have been traumatised by the events and police need your help to catch these violent criminals before they hurt anyone else," he said.

He said they had visited the victims today and would be speaking to them again.

They were asked how the two women were doing and an officer said they had have a tough night.

The suspects "need to be caught. It's not on,'' the officer said.

A resident who lived a few doors down from where the attack took place said she was in the room closest to the road when the pair were assaulted but did not hear anything.

"We're all just feeling very shocked at the randomness of it," she told the Herald.

Other residents said they were surprised to hear of the attack in what was usually a pretty safe area.

Police said the two men they were looking for were described as being in their 20s.

Earlier reports suggested they were looking for men aged in their early to mid-30s.

They were said to be of Maori or Polynesian descent.

One had very short black hair, possibly shaved and was wearing a long sleeve white t-shirt and dark pants with black Nike shoes. 

The second was wearing a blue windbreaker-style jacket with a hood and black pants.

"This was a brutal attack and these men need to be locked up,'' police said.

Police said there may be people out there who already know who the offenders are and he appealed to those members of the public or family members to come forward.

Police are seeking sightings of the 1998 blue Volkswagen Polo hatchback, registration CYJ547 which fled from Sutherland Rd in Pt Chevalier around 7pm.

They urged the public to contact them immediately if they saw vehicle between 7pm and 9.30am.

**Can you help? Contact the Auckland Crime Squad on (09) 302 6557 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.